Wal-Mart Sales Disappoint, Management Blames Weather

Walmart wal-martREUTERS/Lucy NicholsonA Walmart store is seen in Rogers, Arkansas, November 8, 2009.

Wal-Mart’s Q1 financial results are out, and the numbers are disappointing.

Comparable store sales excluding fuel unexpectedly fell 0.2%. Analysts were looking for this measure to be flat.

Total revenue of $US114.96 billion fell short of expectations for $US116.28 billion.

All of this was bad for the bottom line. Earnings came in at $US1.10 per share. Analysts were looking for $US1.15.

Management said unfavorable weather shaved about $US0.03 from EPS.

“Walmart’s underlying business is solid, and I’m confident in our long-term strategies,” said CEO Doug McMillon. “We’ll continue to invest in price and enhance our service to improve sales. We remain focused on growth across the enterprise, especially in small formats like Neighbourhood Market in the U.S.”

For Q2, the company expects comparable store sales to be flat and eanrings to come in at $US1.15-$1.25 per share. Analysts had forecasted $US1.28 for the period.

“Our guidance assumes incremental investments in e-commerce, headwinds from higher health care costs in the U.S. and increased investments in Sam’s Club membership programs,” said CFO Charles Holley. “We continue to expect our full-year effective tax rate to range between 32 and 34 per cent. We expect our effective tax rate to be at the high end of this guidance for the second quarter.”

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